Sometimes life has a habit of getting in the way. A couple of months ago I sent a couple of questions to András Nagy from Sear Bliss. However, due to lots of happenings in his private life he didn’t have the time to answer them, until now. Nonetheless, his answers provide some very interesting insights in the life and mind of a very passionate musician.
Hi there and thank you for doing this interview. Your new album, “Eternal Recurrence”, is quite a scorcher. Are you happy the way it came out?
Hey! Thanks a lot. Yes, I’m happy with the result. Also, the fact that I still enjoy listening to this album shows that I’m really satisfied with it. Another thing why I’m pleased is that this was really a heavy period we’ve been through and it was kind of relief to finish this album. It’s been our longest and heaviest recording session, especially for me as I played most of the instruments. There’s an incredible amount of work in the whole album. A lot of experiments were made too, as we have never used clean vocals, fretless bass and seven string guitars before but that’s why it was our most exciting experience so far plus it was some kind of a gratification for me to make this record. It’s a really heavy and deeply emotional and also very personal album for me.
What’s the meaning behind the album title?
It reflects the eternal cycle of all, the return of everything in the universe. Everything in universe returns… maybe in a different way or form but it comes back. The same goes to our existence on earth. This kind of philosophical approach is present on the whole album. The meaning I’ve just described fits to the band too as we are still here, again and again, after almost 20 years, no matter what happens around or inside us.
“Eternal Recurrence” is quite a departure compared to the furious nature of the previous album. To me it seems the new album is more about depth and creating a certain atmosphere. How do you see things?
You are absolutely right. Like I said, it’s probably our most personal record so far and in order to express what we felt inside, we really needed to choose a different kind of musical approach. This time we wanted to focus more on atmosphere and mood, however I believe this album is much heavier in some ways than anything we have ever created.
What I really like are the jazzy accents in the songs and the additional atmosphere it creates. How do you combine all these different elements that make the Sear Bliss sound into something coherent?
When I compose a song, I’m thinking on it as a whole and not just riffs after riffs, you know. In case of ‘Eternal Recurrence’ I had a clear concept in my mind when I created the songs. When you have a complete vision in your head of what you want to express, it’s easier to combine different elements and genres into a solid form because even if they are far from each other in terms of their musical nature they will fit perfectly to the atmosphere of the song, if you know what I mean. Each part or element has its own place on this record. We have always used a little bit unusual arrangements because of brass instrument and during all these years we have found out how to integrate them into the wild and restless nature of Sear Bliss’ music.
It’s often said that al album is a representation of the time and space when it was created. What does “Eternal Recurrence” represent to you?
Well, it represents blood, sweat and tears to us. It is the musical interpretation of desperation and hopelessness.
Sear Bliss has seen its fair share of line-up changes. How does this influence the creative process?
It affects the creative process without doubt. It may be one of the reasons for the diversity of our albums. On the other hand, I always had the role of a filter in the band and as I take most of the parts of song writing for a few years now, it’s no matter if there are many line-up changes. It influences more the live interpretation of our music rather, I would say.
Do you see those line-up changes as a negative disruption that comes along with being in a band or do you see it as a change to bring in some fresh blood into Sear Bliss?
In the past I considered them as a negative disruption but in the case of our last big line-up change prior to the creation of ‘Eternal Recurrence’, it was definitely a welcome thing to bring some fresh blood into Sear Bliss. It was time to make changes musically. You can’t repeat yourself all the time. Composing exactly the same kind of music is like eating the same food each day. You may like it very much but soon you will have the need to try something else.
Besides Thy Catafalque and Sear Bliss I have to admit that my knowledge of Hungarian metal bands is limited at best. Can you introduce a couple of key bands which best represent the metal scene in your native country?
The scene of the darker side of metal is rather small and isolated in our country and only a few can get international recognition. Thy Catafalque, the band you mentioned too is a very unique and interesting musical expression. Other bands I can name are Forest Silence and Nefarious, not because I’m involved in them too but because of the unique, extremely cold atmosphere these bands create.
Sear Bliss has been around for quite some time. How do you manage to keep the band going despite the decline in album sales?
If you are dedicated and you love what you are doing, then you don’t moan because of the decline of album sales. Of course, it affects the labels, thus the bands too, especially the smaller ones like us but we are still lucky as we are at a very good label (Candlelight Records). Next year will be the 20th anniversary of the band and I have never thought of stopping. Perseverance is the key.
Time for the final question. What is next for you in terms of touring and possible other musical projects?
We will have a couple of festival appearances and a complete European tour in autumn. We look forward to that. Regarding musical projects, we have a great plan to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the band but I don’t want to unveil now. Also, I’m working on my musical project called ‘Star-Crossed’ which hopefully I can finish in the near future finally. It will be a really experimental kind of music, very different compared to Sear Bliss.